infused vodka ideas?
A friend of mine is having an Infusion party where guests are supposed to be super creative and infuse their own vodka and then make a cocktail with it. We were joking that a fried chicken infused vodka would be yummy with a mashed potato rim and a gravy back. But then I heard abou a bacon infused vodka that was being served in New York City!
I loves me some creative cocktails. Just returned from a San Francisco/Portland vacation and kept tabs of all my cocktails. Here's a list if you want to track them down next time you are in one of those cities:
What are your ideas for the Infusion party? Need inspiration!
Vodka infusions are the subject of several discussions - search the "Spirits" board and you'll find many, many ideas. Any fruit, vegetable, herb, or spice will work - combining them leads to an almost infinite number of permutations. Personally, the vodka infusion I most enjoyed was watermelon and togarashi. Truth be told, I find infusions made with rum, bourbon, and tequila more interesting. You may want to try something like that as well.
My friend has done the KFC Martini with the glass rimmed with the mashed potatoes.
One thing that you need to do is to chill the infusion at the end -- ice cold in the freezer -- so the fat congeals and can be strained out. Otherwise, it will be floating on the top of the drink and look a bit unsavory.
For fruit/vegetable/herb-based infusion, this last step is unnecessary although filtration through a coffee filter is recommended.
My personal favorite infusion has been nasturtium. I usually skip infusions and only make syrups since it is cheaper to make and discard (booze becomes expensive and eventually your bar will be full of things you no longer use but are hesitant to dump). Although infusions work better with some ingredients than syrups do, and infusions are necessary if you're trying for a dry-balanced drink.
Yeah but .. yeah, but ... yeah, but ....
I hear what you're saying about infused syrup instead of alcohol, but aren't there some flavor compounds that work better with alcohol instead of sugar? Me, I dunno, but I watch Alton Brown expounding on how to deglaze with wine to bring out those alcohol-soluble flavors, and I wonder - isn't there are reason why I love my infused vodkas more than my infused sugar syrups?
Me, I'd probably choose vodka for fruits, veggies (gonna try a tomato vodka soon), and meats. But I can see using a sugar syrup for herbs and spices (my current favorites are hibiscus and saffron - though not together). Might there be an underlying chemical reason for this preference?
Skittles infused vodka is an internet phenomenon, but be careful, because two many Skittles = a thick overly-sweet booze. I know some people who've done Jolly Rancher vodka, which comes out clearer and requires less straining. I found it to taste a lot more like medicine, and some of the flavors were sour. If you're looking for something without candy, google "bacon-infused vodka".
Skittles infused vodka is a silly kiddie drink. As for the fat washed bacon, that was invented by friends of mine and they used whiskey. It's not my favorite thing, but not terrible either. In vodka the flavors are too pronounced and it isn't that good. I tried it and wouldn't repeat it.
Recently I had a blue cheese fat washed whiskey, and a cheddar cheese fat washed whiskey at my friends Liquid Lab. Interesting, not my personal favs.